Compliance issues

Hi folks,

You will have noticed the paucity of postings and articles on this site (Last article was May 1st) this year. To cut to the chase, because of grumblings from the FDA in the U.S. vis-a-vis Young Living, there are strict limitations on what we can say about different essential oils. We cannot discuss which oils are beneficial to any given ailment or medical condition. According to Young Living, we are to focus on essential oils supporting good health and wellbeing, rather than sickness.

At present Young Living are in the process of laying out what can be said with respect to each of their products, so that they remain compliant with FDA guidelines. To make things even more complicated (from a blogger and distributor’s perspective), each market (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, etc) will have somewhat different guidelines. For example, Young Living have a number of oils that are classified as dietary supplements. In Australia YL essential oils are generally classified as fragrances, not dietary supplements. See what I mean?

As we’ve always used Young Living essential oils (and want to continue using them)we intend to honour Young Living’s request of its distributors. Unfortunately it means that until we get some more clarity on what we can tell you about these amazing oils, I’m not going to be posting too much information on essential oils. It’s just too complicated and risky at the moment. This also means we cannot field any kind of questions re: what oils to use for specific conditions.

I will be putting up at the earliest convenience, a list of reading materials you can go to and do your own research.

Hopefully we will be able to resume writing about the essential oils again in the near future.

Till Next time



Chakras: ‘New Age’ or Old? (re-visited)

LatChakrase last year I received a comment from a reader (Sarah) in response to a post I put up on the subject of Chakras – Are Chakras ‘New Age’ or old? The post was actually a re-print of an article by Dr David Stewart (Raindrop Messenger). This was what Sarah had to say:

You outta be ashamed of yourselves! Chakras ARE promoting NEW AGE. Your article in which you say Chakras are biblical is so OUT OF CONTEXT of biblical exegesis that it is almost unbelievable. If you wanna do what you are doing, which is delving in the New Age, then fine, but don’t twist scripture and call it Christian. All you are doing is leading people astray. You are a false teacher [a wolf in sheep’s clothing] I pray The Lord convicts you!

Initially I gave this comment short shrift, but since then I’ve given her remarks some thought and the following post is what I probably should have written to her. I know some of my readers would probably say, “why bother?” Fair point, as I suspect the following would probably not convince Sarah. However what I penned may clarify a few concepts and ideas for other people, so for what it’s worth here it is:

Dear Sarah,
the label “New Age” is one of the most bandied around in the last 50-60 years. Initially it was probably directed at elements of the 60’s and 70’s counter-culture, but by the 80’s it became a label given to almost anything that’s strange or out of the ‘normal’. You have subjects as diverse as reincarnation, channeling, meditation, Wicca, environmentalism, UFOs, homeopathy, crystals, herbal medicine and even essential oils, being thrown into the one mish-mash. But what do UFOs have to do with herbal medicine? Or crystals with environmentalism? And when we come down to it, what’s ‘new’ about many of these subjects? Let’s use chakras as an example, seeing that you insist they ARE New Age.

The word Chakra is Sanskrit for ‘wheel’. There are references to the chakras in the Hindu Vedas which go back at least 4,000 years. Hardly new. And nor is this just a Hindu idea or doctrine. In his landmark study of the Ancient Egyptian temple of Luxor (The Temple of Man), the French scholar R A Schwaller de Lubicz, was able to convincingly show that the Egyptians knew of and understood the functioning of the human chakra system. And much, if not all, of Ancient Egypt,s knowledge was passed on to the Greeks. And if the Ancient Egyptians knew of it, you can bet your bottom dollar, the Hebrews would have learned of it. Hardly ‘new’ is it?

You claim that I (and Dr Stewart) are twisting scripture and calling chakras Christian. I’m sorry if we gave you this impression. This wasn’t the intention. What Dr Stewart was trying to demonstrate (and what I’ve just highlighted above) is that the Chakras are referred to in all the major cultures of the world, going back thousands of years. Including the Christian and Judaic scriptures. Dr Stewart even pointed out that one of the oldest Christian churchs – the Eastern Orthodox – are aware of and understand chakras.

The Old and New Testaments are full of symbology. Dr Stewart gave the example of the Jewish menorah of seven candles, symbolising the seven chakras. He also quoted the Book of Revelations (1:10-15) “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet . . . And I turned to see . . . and being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man . . .and his voice as the sound of many waters.”

You appear to speak as if you are some authority on the scriptures. Perhaps you are. But you are by no means the only human who has extensively studied the bible. Dr David Stewart, in addition to having qualifications in science and biology, studied theology and philosophy at Central Methodist College in Fayette, Missouri…and was a pastor in Missouri. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Dr Stewart once when he came to Australia and have corresponded with him on occasions. He is a person of good character. In fact I found him to be a very decent, kind and humble person. He’s certainly not some con-man (or “false teacher” as you would refer to him).

If you wish to disagree with another person’s interpretation of scripture, that’s fine Sarah; but please spare us your sanctimonious and self-righteous language. As for your last sentence where you “pray The Lord convicts” me. Convicts me?? Say what? I wasn’t aware God did such a thing. Humans convict other humans Sarah – humans.


Till next time



Joseph Stiglitz

Prof Joseph Stiglitz

On Tuesday night (July 8) I attended the lecture of the Nobel-prize winning economist, Professor Joseph Stiglitz. The central theme of his lecture was not only the cost to human society from the growth in inequality, but that rather than being caused by economic factors, this was largely the result of deliberate policy and politics.

The prize for the highest inequality in the world went to surprise, surprise – the United States. In the last 30 years (Since the Reagan administration actually) the share of income to the top 1% is nearly one quarter all U.S. income. And Australia is experiencing a similar trend.

It’s often argued that if we allow for the “trickle down” effect, part of the wealth from the top 1% will trickle down to the bulk of the population. But according to Stiglitz, the trickledown theory simply hasn’t worked. Median income hasn’t grown in the U.S. Today it’s lower than 40 years ago. The average American worker is struggling to just keep up with what their parents were earning. And NO it’s not because we haven’t been productive. Productivity hasn’t stagnated over the last 30 years. It’s steadily grown. What we are seeing is in fact a growing gap between productivity and wages.

In the U.S., the rewards of increased productivity haven’t been shared amongst the bulk of the working population. In Australia, while the average wage has kept pace with economic growth, the minimum wage has fallen behind, as have unemployment benefits and most government pensions. In the U.S. 95% of the increase in incomes since the GFC has gone to the top 1%. One family in America, the Waltons (who founded Walmart), have more wealth than the bottom 30-40% of Americans. In Australia, the richest seven people hold more wealth than the bottom 20 percent of the population (Close to 2 million people).

America has traditionally been seen as the “Land of opportunity”, but as Stiglitz points out, even in terms equality of opportunity, America ranks the worst. Australia apparently does much better because of its education system.

The Price of inequality
Even the IMF acknowledges that inequality ultimately weakens our economies. Ultimately income inequality impacts on all aspects of people’s quality of life: life expectancy, access to education, opportunities for upward mobility and even access to the political process. The last factor is most evident in the amounts of money that are used to lobby politicians, especially when you consider the billions that were spent on the last U.S. presidential campaign. If you think about it, diminished access to the political process (or think of it as political inequality) is probably the most serious impact from income inequality. If our political representatives have been ‘bought’ our hopes of effecting changes in our society are greatly diminished. We are in effect losing our democracy.

The Causes
And as to the causes of this inequality Stiglitz puts the blame largely on the policies and politics that are at play in Western countries. Stiglitz made reference to Australia’s current political leadership’s desire to emulate the U.S. He singled out the charge on visits to the doctor. The Abbott government also wants to change indexation arrangements for pensions and social security payments. This will mean pensions and other payments will fall further behind.

What about all that debt that the U.S. and Europe hold? Surely that’s an impediment to economic growth and makes government spending cuts necessary. Interestingly, U.S. debt after the 2nd World War was 130% of the GDP and yet the most rapid growth in the U.S. economy came in the period after the war.

What should be done
So what were Joseph Stiglitz’s suggestions, at least for Australia? Firstly that Australia (and other nations) needed to stop emulating the U.S. and protect their education and health systems. We need to stop selling our resources so cheaply. Stiglitz made the comparison between Australia and Norway, which has managed to build a substantial national wealth fund from its oil resources over the years. It was suggested we auction our mineral resources in the same manner we auctioned the electromagnetic spectrum to the communications providers. We also need to tax multinationals like Google and Amazon on the basis of their sales, capital invested and activity here. And governments need to discourage rent-seeking and monopoly activities and encourage full employment.

You can view the video recording of Stiglitz’s lecture at the Sydney Town Hall from here, and his appearance on ABC’s Q and A. Also check out these articles in the newspapers:

Joseph Stiglitz packs out Sydney Town Hall

Joseph Stiglitz warns on ‘free’ trade deals

In addition, the Australia Institute has released its own paper on inequality in Australia: Income and Wealth Inequality in Australia. It highlights the fact that the top 20% of people have 5 times more income than the bottom 20% and hold 71 times more wealth.
Till next time

A series of workshops is commencing in Sydney this weekend that deal with some of the most pressing issues of our time: globalization, surveillance and privacy, and genetic modification. Well worth attending. The flyer below has all the details.



Time at Hand workshop flyer

Are Chakras ‘New Age’ or old?


Seven Chakras. By Peter Weltevrede. See more at Sanatan Society

The following is an article in Dr David Stewart’s Raindrop Messenger, that I thought I’d share. David Stewart
is a Christian, but his article pretty much argues that chakras are non-denominational, to be found described in most
of the world’s faiths. For those of you new to this whole subject or have never heard of chakras, don’t worry Dr Stewart
gives a pretty good explanation of what they are.

by David Stewart, PhD
Chakras are not “New Age.” They are Old Age being rediscovered. They are mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. The Jews even have a symbolic representation for the seven Chakras in their Menorah of seven candles, the center one representing the heart chakra.
The first thing to understand is that we all possess an electromagnetic field in which our physical bodies are immersed. Even the medical and biological professions acknowledge that human beings have, not only a physical body of flesh and fluids, but also a subtle electromagnetic field upon which their physical body is superimposed.
Physicians measure your electromagnetic (EM) field to detect problems with your heart and brain by means of EKGs (Electrocardiograms) and EEGs (Electroencephalograms), but they don’t understand, nor utilize, the connections of our EM bodies to our physical bodies in a way to provide pathways to healing. They don’t understand that physical maladies, conditions, and sicknesses usually show up as irregularities in our EM field before they manifest physically. They are unaware of the connection between our minds and feelings to our electromagnetic field and how the condition of the EM Field affectsour physical well-being.

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Book Review: Cancel the Apocalypse

CancelTheApocalypseYou could be forgiven for thinking that there is a dearth of good ideas and alternative thinking, to deal with the social, economic and environmental woes of the world. Only just recently I read how students in Economics at the University of Manchester were in a state of near rebellion, demanding that alternatives to free-market economics be also taught and discussed. On top of this the mainstream media (papers, TV and radio) are almost entirely dominated by large corporate interests. It’s little wonder we get few alternatives to the status quo.

But folks the good ideas and alternatives are definitely out there. A year ago, I reviewed Richard Murphy’s fabulous book The Courageous State. Now just recently I finished reading a book by Andrew Simms – Cancel the Apocalypse. Great title eh?

In essence, Andrew’s book is a response to the doom and gloom – how we can and MUST cancel the apocalypse. This is a book packed full of ‘ammunition’ against the basic ideas and concepts of neoliberal and free-market thinking as well as materialism. In parts I found it a little too drawn out and found myself saying “Ok Andrew, I get your point. Now can we move on?” I think he could have made the chapters smaller and divided it into meaningful sub-sections. But overall I think it’s well thought out and argued. I initially read a public library copy of this book, but I thought this book was so useful and important, that I should have my own copy. This is a book I will want to refer back to again and again. It’s also packed full of great references and leads to other works and research.

Here’s a taste of some of the things covered in the book:

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Releasing emotional patterns with eoBelieve it or not, our emotions have a big impact on physical health and wellbeing. The famous neuroscientist, Candice Pert once said “”repressed traumas caused by overwhelming emotion can be stored in a body part, thereafter affecting our ability to feel that part or even move it”.

What essentially happens is that the moment we have a terrible experience, our brain (the limbic centre specifically) chooses a place to store that memory for future reference until it can be dealt with. Not unlike a librarian filing a book in a collection for future use really, though in this instance it’s one heavy duty library we are talking about. Because many of the traumas we carry, go back to our childhood, infancy and even in the womb. And unless we identify these traumas or emotional patterns, they manifest through out our lives as lingering problems that impact on our capacity to experience our lives to their fullest potential.

So how do we identify these emotional patterns and then deal with them? This is where Dr Carolyn Mein’s book Releasing emotional patterns with essential oils comes in. Why essential oils? Essential oils have the capacity to interact directly with stored emotional patterns in the human body, through the sense of smell (the olfactory sense carries information directly to the limbic centre in the brain – where many emotions are stored) and through the human energy field (remember, essential oils have a frequency – see my article What’s your frequency? for more on this topic).

Carolyn Mein outlines 5 steps to releasing emotional patterns:

1. Identifying the pattern that is linked to the emotion
2. Understanding the pattern – the opposite side of the emotion
3. learning the lesson by discovering the way out of the situation
4. clearing and reprogramming the pattern in the body’s cellular memory – changing the DNA
5. releasing the pattern from the memory held in the limbic system of the brain.

Essential oils play a key role in the last 5 steps. Using essential oils directly on acupuncture alarm points sends the oil’s frequency directly to the organ or tissue affected – clearing the pattern from the cellular memory – while smelling the oil releases the memory held in the limbic centre of the brain.

Carolyn’s book has some amazing tables in it. One table links parts of the body with specific emotions and the essential oil that will help. There are tables that work from the other angles as well, e.g. what emotions  and acupuncture alarm points are associated with a specific essential oil. The book also contains extensive body and facial charts showing the various acupuncture alarm points.

To use a well worn phrase, “but wait there’s more”. Also covered in the book:

* Muscle testing and how to do it (with photos and diagrams)
* The core emotional issues identified with each body part
* Your dominant traits and body type traits
* Writing techniques for releasing buried emotions

People have asked me for the definitive book on using essential oils for working with emotions. Carolyn Mein’s book would have to be at the top.

Buy the book

Till next time


How many times do we hear people say “what can I do to change the world, to make it a better place? I’m only an individual”.  Well it’s often said that for things to change, first we must change. We underestimate the effect that transforming and changing our own lives has on people around us.

Be The Change is a seminar that I think will move people in that direction, providing both inspiration and practical ideas for people to use in their lives. For those of you who can make it along to the dates below,  I strongly urge you to make the effort, as it promises to be an inspiring and thought-provoking day.

Gavina and I were involved with Fr Charles Ogada back in 2011, when we helped sponsor a water tank and bore system for his community. This water project delivers water to over 5,000 people and is as we speak, being expanded to deliver water to surrounding districts.  Fr Charles has since that time, also helped build a school and small orphanage for his district. There’s no stopping this guy. The other speakers, Dr Ron Farmer and John Fitzgerald are also not to be out-done, bringing much experience and wisdom from their respective backgrounds. For that reason I encourage you all to join us in Sydney (or Melbourne and Brisbane).

Check out the flyer below, which links to their website, where you can view a short video on the presenters and register for the seminar. And please do pass this information around. Let’s get the wheels moving!!









Why do the banks own most of our money?

"I warn you, Sir! The discourtesy of this bank is beyond all limits. One word more and I—I withdraw my overdraft."  Cartoon from Punch Magazine Vol. 152, June 27, 1917

“I warn you, Sir! The discourtesy of this bank is beyond all limits. One word more and I—I withdraw my overdraft.” Cartoon from Punch Magazine Vol. 152, June 27, 1917

The following is a letter submitted to The Guardian, in response to an editorial. It’s probably the strongest argument I’ve seen for the nationalisation of banks. Most people I’ve met don’t like banks or bankers, but I think most of us have come to accept them as almost a ‘necessary evil’. I think we really need to ask ourselves and our leaders some hard questions.

Why are private banks and financial institutions allowed to have so much control over our money supply?
Banks lend out money at interest to us, but why couldn’t the government exercise this function without charging interest and cut out these ‘middle-men’?

I know that a number of economists have been arguing for some time, that governments which have control of their own currency (such as the U.K., The U.S., Australia, NZ and Canada) should be able to create/lend money into the system to create jobs, build infrastructure and deal with much of our poverty – that in fact all this talk of austerity is just another con-job on the population. Australian economist, Bill Mitchell, has a site which discusses and promotes the idea that sovereign governments should use their power to create money, to ensure full employment in the economy. I’ve put down links to a number of his posts at the bottom of this post.
At any rate, have a read of this letter, and if you feel as I did when I read it, pass it on. Let’s get a much needed discussion on this going.


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Essential oils vs Perfumes

An ancient still extracting essential oils. From Popular Science Monthly Vol 51

An ancient still extracting essential oils. From Popular Science Monthly Vol 51

Happy Valentine’s to you all!

I’ve always loved the smell of after-shaves and perfumes. There was a time I got a real kick out of visiting a shop specialising in fragrances, perfumes and men’s after-shaves. Perhaps this has come from my Italian background, as my mum and dad, uncles and aunts and family friends always wore some kind of fragrance. However since I’ve come to learn what’s used in after-shaves, I’ve avoided them like the plague.

You see until the last 50-100 years or so, perfumes were essential oils or essential oil based. Now-a-days perfume manufacturers use animal secretions, such as musk (from the musk deer) and ambergris (a by-product of whaling), and synthetic imitations. The latter is pre-dominant, as obtaining animal secretions is quite expensive. Where plant fragrances (essential oils) are used it tends to be the lowest quality or grade, e.g. Frankincense. Then you have something like Rose oil where it takes as much as 5000 pounds of rose petals to make one pound of rose oil. Or Melissa essential oil which requires 3 tons of plant to make one pound of oil. So as a consequence, Melissa will cost anywhere between US$9000 and US$15,000 a pound. Ouch!!! Now that would hurt the hip-pockets of many perfume manufacturers. And here we come to the quintessential devil in the matter – profit!!.
Manufacturers would rather use synthetics, that not only have little or no therapeutic value but can also harm you, for the sake of the mighty dollar. So what types of fragrances do manufacturers aim to create?

Aphrodisiac fragrances

Generally speaking, they try create or re-create aphrodisiac fragrances, arousing the pleasure centres in our brains; both making us feel attractive and making us attractive to other humans. And they do this by creating blends similar to body scents.[1]
There are 3 types of body scents which correspond to hair colouring:
  • Blonds apparently have a sour cheesy scent
  • Red-heads have an acrid, sharp scent
  • Dark haired people have a sweet pungent scent very similar to perspiration.
So the perfumeries try to re-create these scents using animal secretions, plant fragrances or synthetic imitations (pre-dominantly). Let’s forget about the animal secretions and synthetics, shall we. Which essential oils correspond with the body scents we just mentioned? The following are some examples:
Essential oils from Neroli, Jasmine and other blossoms give the scent of Indole which is very animalistic in character. This is apparently a scent found in many classical perfumes.
Frankincense corresponds to the scent and persipiration of both dark-haired and red-haired people
Myrrh is similar to the scent of blond people
Geranium and carrot seed oil correspond to the scent of blonds.
Cypress apparently corresponds to the scent of blonds.
Not all essential oils have aphrodisiac properties. In a recent post I wrote for Wellbeing, Using essential oils in your love life, I go into more detail on what are some of the best oils to use and how to make blends.
One thing to note, perfumes (essential oil based or not) should never be used to cover up body odors; they will actually exacerbate those odours. And like body scents, perfume fragrances are more intense at night-time. For those of you interested in making your own perfumes, be sure to also check out my posts on making blends and making essential oil perfumes. Erich Keller’s book (see below) is also a great source of information for making your own hair and skin care products using essential oils.
Till next time

Disclaimer: Please remember that anything discussed here does not
constitute medical advice and cannot substitute for appropriate medical care. Where essential oils are mentioned, it’s recommended you use only pure, unadulterated therapeutic grade essential oils and follow the safety directions of the manufacturer.

[1] Keller, Erich, Aromatherapy handbook for beauty, hair and skin care. Rochester VT, Healing Arts Press, 1992

Further Reading:

Aromatherapy handbook for beauty, hair and skin care, Erich Keller, Healing Arts Press, 1992
Making essential oil perfumes, 11th September 2012
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